Exploring "internationalization" in political psychology : a bibliometric social network analysis exploring internationalization within the International Society for Political Psychology.
This research set out to describe the level of internationalization that exists within the journal, Political Psychology. The primary way in which this was done was through exploring the patterns of coauthorship between authors from different countries who have published together. The terms ‘WEIRD’ (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) and ‘non-WEIRD’ were adopted from Heinrich et al., (2010) and used in this research to differentiate between ‘Western/core’ countries (WEIRD) and ‘non-Western/periphery’ (non-WEIRD). Bibliographic data was used to extract and produce social network maps of academic co-author collaborations that have occurred within Political Psychology since 1985 (when the journal was first uploaded and stored on the Thompson Reuters Web of Knowledge database) until the data was collected in 2013. These patterns of collaboration were analysed using social network analysis, and it was found that, on average, much of the scientific knowledge published by the journal originated from WEIRD countries, particularly the USA, Canada, and the UK. Additionally, WEIRD authors generally preferred to collaborate with other WEIRD authors. When authors were involved in an international collaboration, non-WEIRD authors also preferred to collaborate with WEIRD authors, but when collaboration between these two categories of authors took place, WEIRD authors were more likely to have first author status on the article as well as being more likely to publish multiple times. It is likely that these structures of collaboration restrict the ability of non-WEIRD authors to produce their own relevant knowledge within the field of political psychology, in that their collaborations are limited and usually mediated by international connections. However, the fact that there was no significant difference in degree centrality between WEIRD and non-WEIRD authors suggests there was equal activity and opportunities to collaborate with other authors in the network regardless of an authors’ categorization as WEIRD or non-WEIRD. This finding also suggests that non-WEIRD nations are not in the periphery of this network of authors, as well as lending evidence to a state of non-dependency on WEIRD nations. Despite these findings, the patterns of authorship of publications in the journal highlights the possible risk that some knowledge disseminated in Political Psychology favours WEIRD interests and may not be globally relevant and applicable.